If you’re looking to stay warm during the harsh winter months, be it on your daily routine walk to work or hitting up the mountains for extended periods, you should look at a down jacket. Often referred to as “puff jackets,” they pack considerable warmth in a small package. They work by trapping air in pockets insulating your body.

The problem is, more often than not, their hefty price tag. They range from $200 to $400 in most cases. Enter the new Paradox Outdoor Atmo 2 hooded down jacket.

Colors available: Black, blue, light grey, charcoal gray

Sizes available: Men’s small to XL

Weight: Approximately 14 ounces

Material: 100 percent polyester outer shell, 90 percent down / 10 percent feather insulation

Fit and sizing: The jacket comes with an active sizing, meant to be worn over base layers.

MSRP: $79.99

You probably know Paradox from Costco and tell yourself “Meh, it’s a generic brand, and probably not worth it.” You’re totally wrong. The Atmo 2 is a solidly made down jacket that is up there with the big brands such as Patagonia. For comparison, I’ll use the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody.

Let’s start with insulation: The down jackets are rated by fill power or FP—the measurement of how many ounces of air the down can trap, thus creating the insulating effect. The higher the FP, the more insulation you get for less weight. The Paradox Atmo 2 is rated at 675 FP while the Patagonia is 800 FP. That being said, the Atmo 2 isn’t 100 percent down like the Patagonia. The Atmo uses 90 percent down with 10 percent feathers, so that explains the lower FP rating. But trust me, I’ve tried it at -40 degrees, and under the soft shell, I was plenty warm.

Water repellency on the Atmo 2 Picture courtesy of Paradox Outdoor
Water repellency on the Atmo 2
(Picture courtesy of Paradox Outdoor)

Both jackets have outer layers made out of 100 percent polyester and are windproof/water resistant. The Paradox features YKK zips while the Patagonia has VisIon® zippers. While the Patagonia is self-stuffing and fits inside an internal pocket, the Paradox is packable in a small pouch that comes with the jacket. They both feature elastic cuffs and adjustable hems.

Weight wise, both are approximately the same. The Patagonia weighs 428 grams while the Paradox weighs in at a little less than 400 grams. The Paradox was weighed by me since that information isn’t available on the website.

At a retail price of $79 on the Paradox Outdoor website, this is a much more cost-effective option compared to the big players of the outdoor world. If you’re on a budget, or even if you’re not, just go for it! Every dollar saved lets you buy more kit, after all!

Also, selected Costco stores carry the non-hooded version if you’re not into hooded insulation for wear under your shell jacket.

Coming next is a review of the Paradox Alive Merino Blend base layer! Stay tuned.

(Featured Image Courtesy: paradox outdoor)